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Upcoming Colloquium

Taking the Measure of Neutron Stars with NICER
Dr. M. Coleman Miller, University of Maryland at College Park

October 18, 2021
11:00am via Zoom

Coleman Miller

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Precise and reliable measurements of neutron star radii are essential to our understanding of cold, catalyzed matter beyond nuclear saturation density. Recently, NASA's Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) satellite has provided high-quality data sets that have yielded measurements of the mass (M=1.44±0.15 Msun) and radius (R=13+1.2-1.0 km) of the 206 Hz pulsar PSR J0030+0451, and of the radius (R=13.7+2.6-1.5 km) of the M=2.08±0.07 Msun, 346 Hz pulsar PSR J0740+6620.

I will discuss our group's work on these pulsars and will in particular discuss the assumptions that have gone into our analyses, to help the assessment of our results. I will also discuss the implications of our results for the properties of the dense matter in the cores of neutron stars.

hotspots on neutron star
Fig. NICER measures the size of a neutron star by tracking the x-ray emission from "hot spots" on the surface as the star rotates. These spots occur at the magnetic poles of the star, where the field slams particles onto the star surface.

The Colloquium is a unique opportunity for students to learn about new developments in physics and what physicists do after they graduate. Hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University Long Beach, the weekly meetings invite guests from universities, research laboratories, and industry to present and discuss current topics in physics. All students are encouraged to attend for a well-rounded experience and training in physics.


The Fall 2021 colloquia will start on August 23.

Date Title Speaker and Affiliation
October 18, 2021 Taking the Measure of Neutron Stars with NICER Dr. M. Coleman Miller, University of Maryland
October 25, 2021 topic: fluid mechanics Roberto Zenit, Brown University
November 1, 2021 topic: biophyics Saad Bhamla, Georgia Tech
November 8, 2021 topic: particle physics Juliet Gruzko, University of North Carolina
November 15, 2021 topic: quantum physics Natalie Brown, Honeywell Inc.
November 29, 2021 topic: solid state physics Elsa Prada, Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid
December 6, 2021 Student Research Presentations Students, CSU Long Beach
December 13, 2021 Student Research Presentations Students, CSU Long Beach

Previous Colloquia

Date Title Speaker and Affiliation
October 11, 2021 Constraining the Drake Equation: The Past, Present, and Future of the Search for Life Dr. Kaitlin Rasmussen, University of Michigan
October 4, 2021 Using Microwaves to Search for New Physics in Nuclear Beta Decay Dr. Alejandro Garcia, University of Washington
September 27, 2021 Synthetic Microswimmers in Complex Environments Dr. William Uspal, University of Hawaii at Manoa
September 20, 2021 Coupling Diamond Defects to High-finesse Optical Microcavities Dr. Lilian Childress, McGill University
September 13, 2021 The Last Supernova Ever Dr. Matt Caplan, Illinois State University
August 30, 2021 Gravitational Wave Astronomy with a Precision Pulsar Timing Array Detector Dr. Michael Lam, Rochester Institute of Technology
August 23, 2021 Meet and Mix Physics faculty and guests, CSU Long Beach

The Colloquium Archive has the Colloquia from previous semesters.


We acknowledge with gratitude donations and support from the following present sponsors:

  • H.E. and H.B. Miller and Family Endowment
  • Benjamin Carter
  • American Physical Society
  • Anonymous

We also acknowledge with gratitude our past donors: The Forty-Niner Shops, Inc., The Northrop Grumman Foundation, Sandra Dana, Anonymous.

If you wish to support the Colloquium, please contact the colloquium coordinator or the department chair. Thank you!